Some info on cheap but good paint jobs:
"....if you have reasonable skills and some patience, you can attain any level of quality you like. There are a couple of tricks to this that I discovered years ago when I started racing. Race bikes get crashed a lot and not wanting to waste a bunch of money on something that doesn't help you win, I was determined to find a fast, cheap, easy, repairable way to keep my bike looking sharp. My worst year, I had five high speed crashes (still won five championships that year) and every time, the next week, the bike rolled out of the trailer looking like new.
The couple of tricks I mentioned are.......use all rattle can paint and give it time to "out gas" before clear coating over it. This may sound nuts to you, but the quality of the paint is not critical once you apply a two part automotive clear coat. That seals in your rattle can base coat for many many years. There are literally thousands of different colors available between all the car and truck colors covering many years of different models, plus all the other various decorator colors from hardware stores and the like. These paints dry very fast between coats, so when you make a mistake, you can wet sand within minutes and fix it. There are all kinds of tapes available in many widths to help you to do clean, tight masking turns between colors. You can spot fill over your colors if you find a flaw that needs filling, give it a quick shot of prime and then hit it with your finish color again. You really can't make a mistake that isn't quickly fixable. When you are satisfied with your base color, pin striping, decals, etc...........wait at least a week for the color coat to "out gas" or cure. If you don't, the clear coat will lift the color coat. When you are ready to do the clear coat, start with a light mist coat to help set the base colors. Minutes later, this mist coat will dry and you can do one or two finish coats. These automotive two part clear coats are extremely tough and have a super high gloss "wet look" They are the same clear coats paints used by car companies and last for many years.
These clear coats are extremely toxic, so if you do not have or don't wish to purchase the proper safety equipment to use them, let a local auto body shop handle this last step. You will still save a fortune on your paint job....My paint is all from a True Value Hardware store. Black, white, green, yellow and silver. To buy those five colors alone in automotive base coat would be hundreds. I spent maybe $25. I seriously doubt if I could have gotten a five color paint job of this quality for much under $2k........possibly ........would have cost a lot more."